Chapter 17 : Hannah Potter
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“Blind, eh? Who would've thought?” muttered Ron. Hermione shook her head beside him. When Harry had told them about Dominion's condition, they had stared at him like he was stupid, then looked for themselves. They were now staring dumbly at the creature, which crawled blindly around on the floor. Sticking its snout in the fireplace, it sneezed hard, then crept away.
“So what does this mean?” asked Ron, looking at Harry. “Kinda hard to teach a blind dragon to fight, much less fly. There isn't much chance for this one.”
“We'll think of something,” Harry said. He had asked Eve what to do about the dragon, and she had answered simply that the baby needed a special 'influence.' She had refused to say more, declaring that it would be clearer in time.
Harry studied the baby dragon now creeping past his feet. It was a very cute creature, once one forgot what one knew about dragons. Its pink hide glittered as it twisted, reflecting light from the flames in the fireplace. He reached down to stroke the miniature beast. As his fingers traced their way down its back, he felt an odd tingling. He looked at his tingling hand, and saw that the scars on his hand were glimmering strangely with a luminescence that had nothing to do with firelight. How odd, he thought, looking his hands over. It didn't seem to be hurting him, so he ignored the glowing and tingling. He looked at the door.
“Is the storm ever going to end?” he sighed. “I'd like to get going.”
“Is there really any hurry, now that Dominion has hatched?” inquired Ron. “I'd quite like a break from running for a bit, if it's all the same to you.”
“Now that dragons are on the offense, and Dominitus is determined to have the world under his thumb or paw or whatever, is it safe to not hurry?” asked Harry in response.
“It just seems that we've spent so much of the past several years running either to or from one thing or another, and it'd be nice to have a stop or two along the way. A long vacation is more to my liking, but I'll settle for a short break.” Ron stopped, brooding.
Harry looked at his best mate, and saw how much this lifestyle was wearing on him. When we get through this war, he thought to himself, I'll send him on a long, long vacation. And I won't let him come back until he has traveled to every place he ever wanted to go.
He was still musing when they heard a thump at the door. Oscar looked up from his book, while Mad-Eye glanced at the door with his magical eye. The green orb scanned the piece of wood; Moody frowned. His nonmagical eye narrowing, he slowly set aside his wood carving. Getting up, he stumped over to the door and peered closer at the door, the green eye stock still with concentration. It traveled up and down, stopping a foot above the ground and going back up again. He scowled.
“Nothing,” he grunted, and turned away. Harry resumed his pondering, while the others immersed themselves in various activities. Mad-Eye had just picked up his carving again when there was another thump on the door.
“Blast it!” snarled the Auror, heaving himself to his feet and approaching the door. He glared through the peep hole. “Still nothing, dammit!” he growled. He spun and started to walk away, when yet another thump sounded. He whirled and wrenched open the door.
“Alright, ye little squit!” he roared into the rain. “Where are you! I know you're there! Show yourself - eh? What's this?” He was looking down. Peering over, Harry spotted a very ratty object lying just outside the door. It looked like a beaten, sopping bird that had run into a few too many trees. Watching as Moody picked up the soaked ragged thing, he suddenly realized that was just what it was.
“Is that an owl?” cried Hermione. She rushed to Mad-Eye “Oh, poor thing!” she said, relieving the disgusted-looking man of the fowl. “You must have been running into the door, trying to get in or let us know you were there. But whoever would send you out in such a mess? They've got some nerve!”
“Thing looks about dead,” Ron remarked, staring at it. He shook his head and whistled. “I'm surprised it even made it.”
“It looks like the strong sort,” Oscar observed, gazing at it. “It'll be from a rich family. Must be o' importance, or they wouldn't o' bothered with the likes o' me.” He said this last a little darkly. Harry figured there were some hard experiences there, but didn't ask.
“Let's read the scroll,” suggested Ron, pointing to the soggy roll of parchment secured to the bird's leg. Harry gently untied it, then headed over to the fire while Hermione sat with the exhausted owl in her lap. She crooned to it softly, stroking it like a cat. Ron threw her a disbelieving look.
“First elves, now owls,” he muttered. “Can you believe it?”
“How long have you know her?” asked Harry, smirking, and Ron grimaced. “Just read the parchment,” he said grumpily, and Harry smiled. Bending over the roll, he undid it, stretching it out in front of the fire. He had to stare a moment to make out what the runny ink read. At last, he deciphered the oozing shapes on the parchment. What he saw made his eyes pop wide open. Ron immediately came to his side and squinted over his shoulder, reading aloud.
Dear Harry Potter,
I do hope this finds you. I'm in the most terrible spot right now, and I'm not sure anyone can save me. But before I tell you more, there is something I must get off my chest. Something I've been dying to tell you since I first learned about you, and the truth about me. Harry, I'm sure you have heard of Lily Potter, your mother, and James Potter, your father. Brave, warm, wonderful people, I've heard. I wish I had known them. But alas, it wasn't to be. Anyway, you most likely believe yourself to be an only child. And I don't know how to tell you this. But...you're not an only child. You have a twin, Harry. A twin sister, by the name of Hannah Potter. And how do I know this, you might ask. Well, the thing is, dear Harry, I am that twin. Yes, you read correctly. I am your twin. I know it is hard to believe, but you must believe it. It is the only way for us both to be free. I am imprisoned by the man who kidnapped me, who arranged the whole setup that has kept us apart. I don't want to be apart from you anymore, my dear brother. But the only way we can reunite is this: you must free me. It will be hard, but it is worth it, is it not? I implore you to believe me. I love you, brother, and can't wait to see you. I hope you will take this message seriously. If you do, make all possible haste, I don't know how much longer I can stand this horrible place. Hurry to me, Harry. Free me,that we may be together at last, the family we never knew.
There was a complete silence in the room, broken only by the crackling of the flames and the snuffling of the dragon, which was nosing at the floor beneath the table. Oscar pondered the page he was on, while Moody gazed into space. Hermione and Narcissa looked at each other, the owl stirring feebly in her lap. It let out a faint hoot, but the small sound went unnoticed.
Harry raised his eyes from the parchment. “My sister,” he whispered. “My twin...” It was like his world had ended. He had gone through so many years, believing that he ahd been deprived of all family. And now, here he had family left. It was almost more than he could bear. Happiness that he had a chance, and sadness for all the time lost. But yet, he had a chance....
“Harry? Mate, you okay?” Ron's voice interrupted Harry's musing. Ron took one look at his face and shook his head emphatically.
“No, Harry,” he said firmly. “You can't do it. You don't know who she really is!”
“But how can I afford not to know?” Harry answered helplessly. “What if she really is my sister? My twin, even!”
“What if it's a trap?” asked Ron fiercely. “Do you really want to die? Don't you remember Sirius?”
“WOULD YOU LOT QUIT MENTIONING THAT BLOODY NAME?” shouted Harry, jumping to his feet. He lowered his voice a little. “Ever since that time in the Ministry, every time I try to take a risk, you throw that name at me. You know damn well that I know it was my fault. You think I haven't blamed myself enough? And here you go digging it up again!”
Ron looked stricken, and Harry couldn't help but feel pleased with himself. He was very much annoyed that at the first chance of having some real, flesh-and-blood family, Ron was jumping in his way. And he felt he was willing to do anything to find out who this girl really was. And like she said...it would be worth it.
“Harry, mate,” Ron said softly. “I'm not trying to blame you for what happened. I'm trying to remind you of the price of these stupid, hot headed choices you keep making!”
“Would you have me ignore the letter, then?” Harry's voice quivered. “Would you have me ignore the chance that the last of my family might still be out there, in danger?”
Ron stared into his eyes, and Harry could see the concern in those blue orbs of Ron's. His anger and grief began to deflate, and he stepped back. “Ron,” he said slowly, “I couldn't live with myself if I didn't at least check. Can't you understand, at least?”
Ron nodded. “Yeah, I guess I get where you are coming from. But can't you understand that if I let you go, and you never come back, I'll never forgive myself? I don't want to fail you, Harry.”
Harry looked at him. “You won't fail me, Ron. By letting me go, you're letting me find myself. By letting me go, you're helping me. If I die, I die knowing the truth. I'd rather die with the truth than live without it.”
He heard a sob, and he looked over to see Hermione with tears running down her face, a dozing owl, perched on her knee. “Harry,” she said clearly, “I don't care what you say. I'm coming with you. If you think I'm going to let you die alone, you are dead wrong.”
“Hermione,” Harry said, smiling, “do you think I'd have it any other way?” He walked over and hugged her, kissing her on the cheek. He looked back at Ron.
“You coming with too, mate?” he asked Ron. Ron winced, and rubbed his head. He appeared very reluctant, and Harry realized that Ron's fear of a trap was very great.
“Ron,” he said quietly, “if it's a trap, we have each other at least.”
Oscar looked at them over his reading glasses. “Ye have a strong heart, Potter,” he said. “Strong enough for all o' ye. Just mind ye don' let it get ye in trouble. But one thing, Potter. What of the dragon?”
Harry looked at Dominion, curled on the hearth, fast asleep. He hadn't considered that. So what do I do? He wondered. Deliver Dominion, or save Hannah? He shook his head in frustration. “What do I do?” he muttered. “What do I do?”
Mad-Eye smiled grimly. “Save your country or save your heart, Potter. It's a hard choice.”
“Sounds like the motto of my life,” murmured Harry, and Moody chuckled.
“That it is, Potter, that it is.”
Hermione looked at Harry. “Harry,” she said, “let's take Dominion with us. We can train it on the way, perhaps, or it might come in useful somehow. In any case, it's a way to take care of the egg, and help the poor woman as well.”
“That's an idea, Mione,” responded Harry. “And I like it.”
“If we are to do this,” murmured Eve, “Then we must begin now.”
“In a storm?” protested Ron. Eve nodded.
“We've no idea of that woman's circumstances, and it would be best to arrive as soon as possible. If I'm not much mistaken, you've handled storms quite well.”
Ron sighed heavily. “All right, all right. Let's go then.”
Harry began to gather his things, as Hermione and the others followed suit. Hermione tucked Dominion into her knapsack, then slung it over her shoulders. The baby dragon peeked out of the pack like a bizarre infant. Which, Harry thought, it actually was. The thought amused him somewhat.
“Remember, Potter,” said Moody gruffly, both eyes trained on Harry, “just as with all wars, you have some hard choices lying ahead. Mind you make the right ones.”
“Don't worry,” Harry said seriously. “I will.”
And so, off they go. What will they find on this new quest? Is this person who she claims to be? Hehe, so many questions...Anyway, we're over halfway through the story, since I'm looking at twenty-nine to thirty chapters. I'm sorry that this story is going to be shorter than Twilight Dragon, but i believe it will be rewarding nonetheless. In any case, I think I've been doing good with the updating on the last few chapters. Quick pace, which relieves me. So... please review, let me know what you think, and how about recommending this trilogy to your friends? I'm looking for more readers to respond, so spread the word! Thanks! And enjoy!
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